Calloused Americans

by TOM MCLAUGHLIN April 19, 2017

After a few hours of writing on my laptop, I need to get up, change my clothes, and do another kind of work that involves more than my brain and my fingers on a keyboard. I have to use tools invented and manufactured in previous centuries - tools like saws, hammers, drills, chainsaws, tape measures, rulers, squares, scrapers, and the like. I have to think and work in three dimensions. I have to feel my tools and materials, and smell things like earth, sawn wood, or paint. I have to move my body, lift things, climb ladders, set up saw horses - either fix something or build it.

There are callouses on my hands and I own a pickup truck. That makes me different from most Americans on the east or west coast. That I'm also a heterosexual, white guy (HWG) makes it very likely that I voted for Trump. When the uncalloused try to analyze what happened last November 8th, they refer to us as "non-college-educated white men." It's ill-concealed condescension, but if called out on it, the uncalloused hastily add a Seinfeldesque: "...not that there's anything wrong with that" as a further effort to camouflage contempt.

They were the ones laughing last September 9th in New York City when a smug Hillary Clinton put half of Trump supporters into a "basket of deplorables." We're not nearly as sophisticated as she and her audience. We're calloused, deplorable, HWGs. We're "irredeemable" because we can never be as smart as they are - even though we're the ones they call when something doesn't work and they cannot figure out why, or something breaks and they don't know how to fix it. They think our intelligence is limited, but we know it's the other way around. We know more about their world than they know about ours, but they never suspect that.

We were the ones laughing on November 9th - at the shocked faces of the uncalloused sophisticates on NBC, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, as well as the tearful faces on college campuses. We're still chuckling at pussyhat marches and the rest of the protests.

Non-college-educated white men didn't borrow against their future to spend years being inculcated with progressive pap. They don't have to spend still more years learning that what they purchased with those tens of thousands of dollars was worthless, or that it could all have been picked it all up just be reading a few books here and there. We respect the college-educated who studied the hard sciences: physics, engineering, biology, chemistry, nursing, IT, and so forth. That kind of college is worth something. It's grounded in the real world, unlike: sociology, education, art history, journalism, or any of the "studies" - like "ethnic studies"; "queer studies"; "women's studies"; "gender studies"; and so forth.

In the interest of full disclosure, I had to get some degrees because they were necessary for a teaching certificate, thought they shouldn't have been. They didn't teach me to teach. To do that, one must know the subject matter, and then be able to impart it to others. There's no need for college "education departments." I endured dozens of worthless courses before I could get into a classroom, but I wasn't brainwashed by them: I worked full-time in the real world throughout the process and stayed grounded. I knew academic baloney when I heard it, and that was more than forty years ago. It's exponentially worse now. There was a gulf between academia and reality back then, but it's an ocean today. The 21st century college campus is La-La Land, and you won't find anyTrump voters there. You might be escorted off campus if you even utter his name without first issuing a trigger warning. Trump voters exist only in the real world.

Leftists dressed in black and wearing masks are attacking people pro-Trump rallies and conservatives on college campuses with fists, clubs, and pepper spray. Last Saturday, however, they got their butts kicked in Berkeley, California. Videos indicate the butt-kickers belong to a demographic that might be described as non-college-educated, white men with callouses. Will the left escalate beyond fists and clubs next time? Let's hope not, but as David French writes in National Review

We are now teetering on the edge of a truly terrifying incident, one trigger-pull away from a slaughter. Campus and urban progressives have a choice to make. Is this a nation of laws? If it is, then it's time to grow a backbone, protect free speech, punish rioters, and expel those who disrupt the educational environment regardless of ideology.

Okay, enough of writing. Time to go outside and move my body - do something in three dimensions, stay grounded.

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FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Tom McLaughlin is a (now retired) history teacher and a regular weekly columnist for newspapers in Maine and New Hampshire. He writes about political and social issues, history, family, education and Radical Islam.  Email him at tomthemick@gmail.com

 


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